Monday, January 25, 2010

It Happens Everytime

So, my family knows that after I finish an order of cookies, they get a picture message from me with evidence of my latest cookie venture.  And it usually says something along the lines of - "My favorite color combo yet" or "Do you love these as much as I do?!" or "I hope you don't get tired of me sending you pictures of cookies!"  (I'm sure my brother would rather me just send him cookies than a picture!  But oh, well!)  After this order, there was no exception.  My little sister said these were her favorite evrrrr.  I might have to agree with her.  There's something about the square that I love so much. 
And the color combo is awesome.  I'm getting better with matching the color.  That whole "practice makes perfect" thing may be right - not that I'm perfect, I'm far from it!  But I'm definitely improving!
These were for a friend's husband's party.  I made 104 and stacked them in an aluminum pan to transport.  But I liked the way they looked all stacked up, so I took them back out of the pan to take a picture.  These are my cookie tiles.  Right now, I just have this size, it's 2 1/4" but I'm ordering a bigger square for cookie favors.   I love having the freedom to design whatever I like, but I need some kind of inspira-tion.  For these cookies, it was the cute invitaions from TinyPrints.  Loved the style, loved the colors.  And everyone LOVED the cookies!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Just For Fun

Last week, my sister surprised me with 2 cupcake plates she found at Stein Mart.  That's right.  CUPcake plates.  Complete with dome lids!  They are sooo cute!  I had to make a cupcake right away to try it out.  They're not the most practical things, but they are super cute and make for some super cute photos!  Thanks, Sis!  Cupcakes to you!

Cookies For Every Age

This weekend, I made cookies celebrating a newborn and cookies for a 60 year old's brithday bash.
Branching out from the norm, I did square cookies for my latest baby cookies.  I think if I do a bigger square, I can make it look more like a baby quilt. I'm trying to stay away from plain jane cookies - can you tell?  I would rather take a simple square and jazz it up to look like a baby cookie than make a teddy bear cut out look like a teddy bear.  I'm not knocking those kind of cookies, it's just not the style of cookies I want to produce.  I enjoy making each cookie look like a piece of art - unique and stylish. 
I was able to fit 20 cookies in the jar for the new parents.  I, also, did a small cookie bag for the 2 year old big brother.  You can't leave those older siblings out!

Now, for Valentine's Day, I will be offering Heart Cookie Bouquets.  The cookie bouquet is not original with me - I dare not take that credit.  But, I've never seen anyone offer custom cookies in a jar with a personalized tag.  Not to say I'm the only one who has ever thought of it, but if it's out there, I haven't found it.  I still say these make the perfect gifts for such occasions as new babies.  And they taste WAY better then pink daisies! (But I can make cookies that look like pink daisies if you really want to send flowers!) 

As for 60 year old Marvin, he celebrated Harley style.  I made him a chocolate 6" cake with my sugar cookies to go with it.  I made the delivery to Catering Concepts in North Augusta, so I didn't get to see how well Marvin liked it.  But I don't think he could have been disappointed.

I really got into the flames.  Like the swirls you see on many of my designs, I doodle flames like this a lot too.  I was also proud of myself at how smooth I got the butter cream icing!  I hope Marvin enjoyed the cake and cookies as much as I enjoyed making them!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cake Archive

Here are some cakes that I have done in the past. Some of the pictures are not the best quality. At the time, I was not taking them for my blog because it did not exist.
My birthday cake.  Yup. I make my own.  It gives me an excuse to make a pretty cake without feeling any kind of pressure. 
A Care Bear inspired cake for a baby shower. I learned a valuable lesson about Georgia heat and butter cream icing. They don't like each other, hence the "slouching."
Sorry the next two pictures are so small.

This cake was for my friend whose birthday is right before Halloween and loves everything spooky. The green says "Happy Birthday," if you can't tell due to the tiny-ness of the picture.

This was for a wedding shower. The fondant ribbon is dove-tailed and was inspired from the bride's dress. I don't do a lot of fondant work, but I'm not opposed to working with it - just opposed to eating it.

I did this cake for my little sister's high school graduation. The design was inspired by the quilt that I also made for her. I love drawing inspiration for cakes from other significant objects in people's lives.

As you can tell, I love using bright colors. This cake was for another one of my amazing nieces. We had a luau themed party in the park. The design for this cake was inspired by the festive plates and cups that had the same big flowers on them.
Here's the story on this cake and the next. I had committed to do my first wedding cake, but had never stacked 3 tiers of cake before. So, I needed to practice. I thought the perfect opportunity would be when my older sister's family and I were going to Columbus to have the annual Family Birthday Extravaganza for ALL the summer birthday's in our fam. (I think the total is 7, maybe 8.) So, I designed a cake basically if I were designing my birthday cake, even though my birthday was not one of the one's being celebrated. (Hm. Baker's privilege.) The first layer was a peanut butter with jelly filling, the middle layer was a white chocolate with strawberry filling, and the bottom layer was a cream cheese pound cake with a lemon filling. Well, then we got the news that my parents had whooping cough. That's right. That sickness that the CDC thought they had eradicated. Yeah, well, my parents got it - preventing my sister and her family, one of them being a 3 month old, to make the trip to the Family Birthday Extravaganza. So, the F.B.E. was postponed. Now I had a 3 tiered cake that I sure as heck wasn't going to eat by myself. So, I still went, but I did stay at my brother's house and not the germ-infested parents' house. And instead of the cake being a birthday cake for 8 birthday boys and girls, it was just for one birthday girl, my little sister, whose birthday was the next day. In the end, I was a determined baker who didn't let a little cough stop her from taking a cake to cake-needing people. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor whooping cough...

But we still had to have our Birthday Extravaganza! It just happened 2 weeks later. Spirits dampened a bit, I managed to scrape together this measly 2 tier cake.

It was just my regular pound cake and no special fillings on the inside. Just my regular butter cream on the outside. The decorating wasn't quite as planned out, but it made for some whimsy! The top layer I just started doodling. (My favorite pastime!)

My sister-in-law was watching me doodle away and said "Betcha can't do paisley!" So, I did a little paisley. And then, I started drawing inspiration from the birthday honorees. Peace signs for one of the nieces...Music notes for mom...Georgia G for my bro-in-law (a dedicated fan)...the fish sign for my reverend dad...the duck for my brother who works for Aflac...and the money signs for my accountant sister. That's only 6. Not sure who got gypped out of their doodle. My bad.

If you can't tell, I love my family and I love making special edible art for them. They have all been extremely supportive in my baking endeavors (I think mainly because they get to eat my experiments) and I am immensely grateful!! I look forward to many more Family Birthday Extravaganzas, with over-sized, over-doodled cakes!

Cookie Archive

In no particular order and once again, some of the photos aren't the best quality.

These were for Baby Owen's shower - hence, the "o". I matched to blue to the napkins that had teeny tiny white polka dots on them. So, I did the reverse on these cookies, and embellished on a few.

These were for a 5 year old girl's birthday party. The first cookies I ever did for someone else were these over-sized flowers. I LOVE doing them! They really get my creative juices flowing.

The cookies packaged up - not sure why blogger turned the picture on it's side.

Special "A" cookie for Amelia - the birthday girl. Everyone should have a special cookie on their birthday. It makes the day even more special!

Cookies for a 12 year old girl to take to school on her birthday. It was my first time doing the tulips and butterflies! My 6 year old niece saw the butterfly (the pink one, on the right side of the plate) and said it was the most beautiful cookie she had ever seen! I love that girl.

I don't set out to make every cookie different, sometimes it just ends up that way.

Pumpkins for Halloween. I added chocolate sugar cookies to my repertoire here. I haven't made them since, not sure why, because they were amazing.

Just sweet and simple for Steve's 40th. We had just gotten back into town and were throwing my bro-in-law a surprise party, so these were iced pretty quick. Steve, aka the Cookie Monster, doesn't really care what they look like. They could have said, "You're Old!" and he still would've said he loved them! Whenever I make cookies for an order, he gets mad if I don't have some cookies left over for him. spoiled. rotten.

These were for Carlee Anne's 5th birthday party favors - personalized princess wands. I know this cookie would make ME feel like a princess!

Monogrammed medallion cookies for Baby Charlotte. My sister gave them away to the people who came to visit after the baby was born. I'm starting a trend. Or at least trying to.
Cookies make people smile! Have you made someone smile today? Give 'em a cookie from Sweet B's!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Double Birthday Weekend

I was quite busy this week. It started with a small 6" cake last Saturday, which led to 20 cupcakes on Tuesday and 30 wrapped cookies and a 3 tier cake for the party this past Saturday- all for my niece. Then for my friend's son, I made a dozen cupcakes and a small dinosaur cake for his party on Sunday. Now, for a bakery, that's nothing, but for a baker who is used to doing only an occasional cookie order or two - quite the opposite. But I had fun with all of it and had no major catastrophes.

I've been wanting to do cookies and matching cake, and luckily, my niece was on board. We sat down and had a consultation (my first consultation with a 6 year old). She told me what she wanted, and I think she was pleased with the end products.

As for the two year old's cake - when my friend said dinosaur, I thought it over and came up with this idea. It played out pretty well, especially for my first 3D cake.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas kept me busy!

I did lots of fun things over the holidays and thought I'd share a few.

First, there was my nephew's 15th birthday. He said he just wanted cookies, but how can you have a birthday party without a birthday cake? So, I made him a little one and stacked the cookies like a tiered cake.

His mom liked it so much she ordered the same kind of deal for a Christmas party she was catering. She requested a Christmas tree cake with stocking and wreath cookies. I had never made any of those things before, but I wasn't going to let that stop me!

I loved the cake so much I wanted to make another one. So, I made a slightly bigger one and experimented with a brown sugar pound cake and a caramel-pecan filling. I took it to the family Christmas extravaganza. And everyone was glad I did!

I also took some of my gingerbread cookies, which happen to be my favorite.

Next, I baked and iced 297 cookies for my sister's neighbors and my friends back home. Packaged in cookie jars with red and green ribbon, they were the perfect gift!

Think about a jar full of cookies for your next gift giving need - hostess gift, new baby, birthday, thank you. I'll personalize it to fit your need!
(PS - You can click on the photos to make them bigger.)